Build a Bridge Through Friendship
I have found another clue on this journey of authentic living and teaching. A bread crumb that is so delicious and challenging that it is keeping me up at night -- in a good way.
This clue is about friendship – with oneself. After an interesting conversation with someone I admire and love very much, I realized I may sometimes be a little blasé or cavalier about loving yourself.
The transition from feelings of lack, inadequacy, not-enoughness, self-loathing, comparison, and judgement to sparkly self-love isn’t always easy or swift. In fact, I don’t think that's how it ever works. There are many bus stops along the way.
Instead of fixating on the idea of self-love (which may feel impossible after years of cultural conditioning to feel less-than), what if you focused on self-friendship?
When you think about new or re-kindled relationships of all kinds, there is usually a bit of an introduction period. A time to get acquainted or reacquainted with the other. What if we offered this time and space as a bridge to learning to love ourselves?
I have found that one of the best ways to do this is to pretend you’re meeting yourself for the first time. I have my clients try this exercise all the time:
Take yourself to coffee with a notebook. Ask (via writing), what are your likes and dislikes? And then as if you were answering a new friend, journal about them. Ask how you like to unwind and relax. What’s your favorite book these days? What makes you sad? Why do you think you’re here on the planet at this time? This experience can be revealing, and so exiting as you get to know yourself perhaps for the very first time.
Remember, you don’t have to be passionately in love with yourself right away to enjoy your own company. Start small. A matcha latte date. A lunchtime walk. But do continue to enjoy and watch this relationship unfold through your kind and attentive cultivation.
Ultimately we all want to feel a sense of self-kinship and acceptance. We all want to be free from suffering. We all want to experience happiness and joy. What if the first step is to become friends with that person who journeys with you through it all?
For more individualized guidance on self-friendship and the journey of self-love I'd be honored to work with you through a one-on-one session.